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State Department Stresses Recommendations of Anglo-u.s. Committee Are Not Binding

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The State Department today released the text of a memorandum and letter sent to Jewish and Arab organizations in this country in which it asked for their views on the report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, stressing that the report was “advisory in character” and “its recommendations are not binding.”

The organizations which received the letter and memorandum from the Department were the American Zionist Emergency Council, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Conference, the American Council for Judaism, the American Jewish Congress, Agudas Israel of America, the New Zionist Organization of America, the American League for A Free Palestine and the Institute for Arab American Affairs, all of which testified at the Washington hearings initiating the work of the inquiry committee. In the letter, Dean Acheson, Under Secretary of State, assured the recipients that their views “will receive the close attention of this Government.”

American representatives in the Near East, the Department said, were instructed to furnish copies on May 20 of the committee’s report and of the memorandum to the Jewish Agency, and the Governments of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan and Yeman, also to the Arab Higher Committee and the League of Arab States.

TEXT OF STATE DEPARTMENT MEMORANDUM TO JEWS AND ARABS

The text of the State Department memorandum follows:

“In inviting comments and suggestions on the report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, the Government of the United States desires to make the following observations:

“1. The report is advisory in character, consequently, its recommendations are not binding. However, the United States Government is giving careful consideration to the report in view of the standing of the members of the committee, of the fact that the report was unanimously approved by them and of the fact that they were entirely free to arrive at any conclusions which to them seemed fair and reasonable. The United States Government will also give careful consideration to the views of the governments and organizations which it is now consulting. Judging from preliminary reactions to the report in various quarters, criticism is to be expected. In view of the importance of this problem and the sincere desire of the United States to arrive at a policy with regard to Palestine which will be both humane and just, this Government greatly hopes that the general character and trend of the observations and suggestions may, so far as possible, be of a constructive nature.

“2. By means of the participation of American citizens in the work of the committee, and through the present consultation, the Government of the United States is seeking information and assistance looking to the formulation of its policy on several difficult and complex problems. It readily recognizes that other governments and organizations will have their own respective attitudes in regard to these ques- tions which may or may not be similar to the attitude which shall be adopted by the United States. The United States Government is grateful for the cooperation and help which have already been accorded to the committee of inquiry and hopes that assistance and collaboration will continue to be forthcoming as these matters develop. The United States Government, for its part, will be prepared at all times to reciprocate to the best of its ability the many courtesies which have been afforded to its citizens and representatives by the interested governments and groups.

“3. The interest of the United States in the questions considered in the report is believed to be legitimate and is based upon the following:

“(A) Compassion for and a desire to assist victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution, both Jews and non-Jews.

“(B) The fact that for a number of years American citizens have been contributing substantial assistance to the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, and that there is every reason to expect that their interest will continue.

“(C) The deep interest which the American Government and its citizens have in maintaining and promoting mutually beneficial and harmonious relations between the United States and the countries of the Near East in the political field, in education and other cultural activities, in trade, and in economic development.

“(D) The value placed by the United States upon the contributions which the Near Eastern countries have made and will doubtless continue to make to the cause of world peace and prosperity and to the upbuilding and effectiveness of the international organization created for these purposes.

“4. This Government will be glad to receive comments and suggestions regarding the report as a whole or any part of it, and would be grateful if these could be received, at the latest, thirty days from today.”

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